The distinguished Israeli historian Ilan Pappé, now teaching at the University of Exeter, U.K., has revealed in a recent interview with Harrison Samphir on July 19, 2014 published in the e-paper Truthout that Israel’s aims in Gaza have “not changed since 2008. Ever since the Palestinians have democratically elected a government in the Gaza Strip, they were subjected in the Strip to a policy of siege, strangulation and ghettoization.


This was a punishment for choosing a government Israel did not like. The Israelis ever since 1967 react brutally to any Palestinian attempt to play any significant role in determining the fate of the territories Israel occupied in 1967. Any attempt to demand genuine independence or end the oppressive rule is encountered by the brutal force of the army. Of course, when the resistance is based on armed struggle, then the retaliation is even worse – as we can see today in Gaza.”


Asked if the boycotting of Israeli companies, products and services was an effective way to combat the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories, Pappé responded by noting that “The BDS movement is an effective and moral way of combating the violation of human and civil rights in Palestine. It is based on the valid assumption that there is no hope for change from within Israel and about the futility of an armed struggle. It also has a successful historical precedent in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. There is no alternative.”


Asked about his personal relationship to Israel, he said “I am a citizen, but I am dissident, too” and indicated that he objected to “the ideological regime on which the state is based as it racially discriminates against anyone who is not a Jew and half of the population this state controls today are not Jewish. Many of them are under constant danger of being ethnically cleansed and in the case of Gaza, of being killed.”


(Condensed from Truthout, July 20, 2014)

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